Off Campus Housing Guide

Disputes with your Landlord

Disputes between landlords and tenants will occur and typically are about deposits being withheld or long delays in the return of deposits. Repairs not being completed as promised is also an issue for tenants.  Attempting to calmly and reasonably resolve the conflict with your landlord should always be attempted first.  As a tenant involved in a dispute, it is imperative that you keep all documentation, especially receipts for payments made, repair requests, and work orders.  These could prove invaluable if the conflict cannot be resolved without legal action.  If no resolution can be reached with your landlord on your own, you may need to resort to such action.

There are various legal means of resolving a dispute between you and your landlord.  They include mediation, hiring legal representation, and small claims court.  You can also file an official complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection using this form.  Call local attorneys and inquire about the cost of sending letters of demand for return of your deposit or other minor legal maneuvering that may result in speedy results.  If the attorney's fees are too expensive, use the resources below to investigate the steps you need to take to resolve the conflict.

  • The Consumer Trade and Protection Division of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, created an informative guide for landlords and tenants.  Read The Wisconsin Way, a valuable resource with statutes, rules, and monetary compensation due to tenants and landlords from settled disputes.

  • The St. Croix County courthouse holds free legal clinics covering a variety of topics, including landlord and tenant disputes. They are held in the evening the second Monday of each month. Contact them at 715-386-4600 for more information.

  • The state of Wisconsin also offers assistance through The Tenant Resource Center.  Don't be thrown off by the information for Dane County or Madison residents since services are available even if you live outside these areas.

  • The Wisconsin Law Library contains not only applicable statutes, but a wide variety of printable sample forms and letters that may help you resolve your dispute.